Property Manager Sued for Murder

2 Replies

Article in the Local Section of the Friday 28, 2014 SunSentinel, Broward County, Florida

Lawsuit Settled in Killing

A man named David Nelson was killed in an apartment complex in Plantation by a neighbor, Jaime Vogel who was arrested and charged with murder. Nelson's wife Marla, sued the apartment complex management company for negligence, arguing that they should have known Vogel was a risk and never should have rented an apartment to his family. The Greystar Management company settled Nelson's claim for $1.5M.

The lawsuit was filed on the premise that a person who rents a property from a landlord or manager expects proper background checks to be conducted on other renters. Frank J. Mari, executive director of the South Florida Management Assoc said background screenings are not required by law but they are recommended by common sense. "They definitely should take the time to make sure they have reputable tenants. I have a responsibility as a property manager to the owners and to the community, the other renters, to keep a safe place".

Christopher Marlowe, who represented Marla Nelson, said Greystar had run a background check that revealed Vogel had previously lived in another Plantation property managed by the same company, and that he had been evicted for causing disturbances and making death threats against other tenants. "The failure by Greystar was in not actually reading the background screening that they had in place. They had all the background they needed to know they had been lied to by the applicant who claimed he had never before lived in a Greystar managed property". "How could you possibly represent to anyone that you are offering a safe place to live if you are not paying attention to your own background checks"?

Negligence suits against property managers stemming from murder cases are rare. When they do arise, they tend to be over security lapses, not failed background screenings, said Mari. In this case a background check was conducted - "it just wasn't read".

Vogel never went to trial for the crime, he commited suicide in jail. Because it was a negotiated settlement, the outcome of the case won't set any legal precedent. 

Originally posted by @Luis Rivera :

Article in the Local Section of the Friday 28, 2014 SunSentinel, Broward County, Florida

Lawsuit Settled in Killing

A man named David Nelson was killed in an apartment complex in Plantation by a neighbor, Jaime Vogel who was arrested and charged with murder. Nelson's wife Marla, sued the apartment complex management company for negligence, arguing that they should have known Vogel was a risk and never should have rented an apartment to his family. The Greystar Management company settled Nelson's claim for $1.5M.

The lawsuit was filed on the premise that a person who rents a property from a landlord or manager expects proper background checks to be conducted on other renters. Frank J. Mari, executive director of the South Florida Management Assoc said background screenings are not required by law but they are recommended by common sense. "They definitely should take the time to make sure they have reputable tenants. I have a responsibility as a property manager to the owners and to the community, the other renters, to keep a safe place".

Christopher Marlowe, who represented Marla Nelson, said Greystar had run a background check that revealed Vogel had previously lived in another Plantation property managed by the same company, and that he had been evicted for causing disturbances and making death threats against other tenants. "The failure by Greystar was in not actually reading the background screening that they had in place. They had all the background they needed to know they had been lied to by the applicant who claimed he had never before lived in a Greystar managed property". "How could you possibly represent to anyone that you are offering a safe place to live if you are not paying attention to your own background checks"?

Negligence suits against property managers stemming from murder cases are rare. When they do arise, they tend to be over security lapses, not failed background screenings, said Mari. In this case a background check was conducted - "it just wasn't read".

Vogel never went to trial for the crime, he commited suicide in jail. Because it was a negotiated settlement, the outcome of the case won't set any legal precedent. 

Hmmmm. Does this standard apply to low income areas where many tenants may have criminal backgrounds? I wonder...

Wonder how many PM's will take heed to this by being more responsible for their actions or the lack thereof...

Good share @Luis Rivera.

Kudos,

Mary

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